Doug Rentz  |  
Elida breaks ground on new elementary school

Friends of the Elida Bulldogs gathered on a rainy Sunday afternoon Sept. 8 to ring in its new elementary school with a groundbreaking ceremony. The proposed 130,000 square-foot facility designed by Garmann/Miller Architects-Engineers will house the next generation of PK-5 students.

“The high school project has been finished for about eight years now, and the community was told the elementary would come at some point, and now we’re here,” Elida Local Schools' Superintendent Joel Mengerink said. “To be able to open up in a brand new building in two years is really exciting.”

In May 2018, voters approved a 2.8 mill bond issue and a 0.50 mill levy for the construction of the new building. The 30-year bonds total $17.9 million, and the district will receive $18.1 million in contributions from the state toward the project.

Mengerink lauded the effort of those who made the district’s vision a reality. “It takes a community; they really got behind us and supported the bond issue,” he said. “We had so many people involved in the entire design and planning phase, from staff and teachers to board members and those in the community to help bring it all together.”

Dirt will begin moving on the site in the next week or two, and the district is hoping students will be in their new building for the 2021 school year.

Brian Wolf, Garmann/Miller’s project manager, told The Lima News that he and his facility design team were glad to maintain the relationship it has built with the Elida community. 

“We worked on the high school with the district years ago, then to come back again and be able to do it with the elementary school is really exciting,” Wolf said. “The district is great to work with; it definitely has the kids in mind when making decisions.”

Highlights of the day included the national anthem sung by Ms. Novicki’s fourth grade choir, a few words and a song by second-grader Olivia Agozzino and her brother Isaac, and addresses made by Elida Board of Education President Brenda Stocker, Principal Michelle Alison and Treasurer Joel Parker. State of Ohio Rep. Bob Cupp also was on hand to deliver a congratulatory message.

“The envisioning, the planning, the work and the commitment that has been poured into this project to date certainly marks the physical beginning of fulfilling the promise that the Elida community made to the future of its children,” Cupp said.

The ceremony finished with the Elida High School band playing the alma mater. On this milestone day, we were reminded of its final verse, “How firm our friendship – black, orange, gold.”

Click here to read Sam Shriver’s article in The Lima News.

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